Is there a Marrow Doctor in the House? Bordeaux #Winophiles
Preparing for our November French #Winophiles blogging group journey into all things Bordeaux, I was excited to feature both an entrée (1st course) and a plat (2nd course, usually main course). I featured a Bordeaux Blanc with mussels for the entrée, and the plan was to follow with a pan seared steak, aka entrecôte with sauce bordelaise. Normally, I sear steak on the grill, but that’s not very French. I had never made sauce bordelaise before, but how hard could it be? Plus, I was looking forward to learning how to work with marrow.
Suffice it to say, the dinner turned out great after I cleared the house of smoke (searing the steaks in a too-hot cast iron skillet) and steam (reduction sauce in same too-hot cast iron skillet with marrow that wouldn’t melt). My advice? Do some homework on skillet searing and look for a different sauce Bordelaise recipe than the one I used! Luckily, we were still enjoying unusually warm November weather in Minnesota and I wasn’t thrown out of the house for having windows and sliding glass door open…
Even without the marrow, the red wine reduction sauce was wonderfully intense and enhanced the overall flavor of the steak and sautéed mushrooms. A red Bordeaux is a well deserved classic pairing with steak: deep flavors and tannins to balance the steak flavor and texture.
Chateau Canevault Fronsac 1996 ($14 screaming deal from Sunfish Cellars)
Eye: Just a touch of cloudiness. Plenty of sediment in the bottle. Dark red, only opaque in the very center. Brick red edge.
Nose: Raisiny at first, but fades a bit with air. Caramel, musty basement tones typical of an older wine.
Mouth: Still has good structure, plenty of acid and some tannins, although they are smooth. Nice length to the finish.
Top Bordeaux appellations command high premiums. Lesser appellations even a short distance away can offer an authentic Bordeaux experience for much less money. Fronsac (#12 on the map) is only a short distance away from Pomerol (#14) and St. Emilion (#21).